Studies over the years have shown that treating women diagnosed with early breast cancer with chemotherapy after surgery, has significant results in their overall survival. Chemotherapy however can negatively affect patients’ overall health and quality of life in the long term. The EORTC MINDACT study sought to investigate whether women diagnosed with early breast cancer that hasn’t spread beyond the breast and/or the nearby lymph nodes (masses of tissue that help the body to fight disease), could be spared chemotherapy treatment after surgery, without affecting their overall survival rate.
This led to the development of a test, called MammaPrint® which examines the profile of 70 different genes and determines which patients bear genomic low risk and can therefore avoid chemotherapy. This was the first effective tool of its kind in assessing the prognosis of these patients.
The study found that 94.7% of women who were identified as genomic low risk using the 70 gene signature test, and therefore did not receive chemotherapy, were free of disease 5 years later.
Long-term monitoring of these patients at 8.7 years confirmed the initial trial results and found that 95.1% were free of disease and free of metastasis (disease spread) after 5 years. The EORTC MINDACT trial has proven instrumental in reducing treatment where possible and paving the way towards optimised care and quality of life for patients.
Study coordinator: Prof. Fatima Cardoso